Nordea's headquarters in Helsinki.
Nordea's headquarters in Helsinki. Credit: Vesa Moilanen

Government, unions upset over Nordea's HQ move to Finland

Bank CEO: we feel we get a level playing field
1:12 min

Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson and several trade unions expressed their disappointment over Nordea Bank's decision to move its headquarters from Sweden to Finland.

The bank, Sweden's largest, announced the move late Wednesday afternoon, saying it would place Nordea on a more level playing field by putting it under the supervision of the European Central Bank.

"We see the move as an important strategic step in positioning Nordea on a par with its European peers," Björn Wahlroos, chairman of the bank's board of directors, stated in a news release.

The move also lets Nordea avoid Sweden's tougher capital requirements and a government plan to increase a levy on banks based in Sweden, Swedish Radio reports.

Andersson told Swedish Radio that Nordea's move abroad was regrettable but that she believed it would not negatively impact Sweden.

"I'm disappointed by the decision, but it is up to every company to choose where its head office is," she said.

The heads of Sweden's large trade unions were more blunt. The blue-collar trade unions' umbrella organization LO said it would consider moving its business to another bank.

"I am very disappointed," said Tommy Wreeth, head of the Swedish Transport Workers´union. "We will raise the issue at LO's board meeting if one should really have their funds managed by Nordea."

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